One of the hottest trends in franchising these days isn’t sit-down restaurants or real estate. It’s seniors.

Providing home-health aides and other services to older Americans is a fast-growing business, as brands and franchise owners seek to capitalize on an aging U.S. population and low costs of entry.


Over the past three years alone, the senior home-care sector has grown by 6.6% annually, faster than the overall franchise industry’s 2.6% compound annual growth rate, according to market researcher FRANdata. About half of home-care agencies are now franchises, up from about one-third five years ago, according to Home Care Pulse LLC, a market-research firm.

Patricia G. Kallsen, 78 years old, a retired administrator, said that in-home care provides “an enhanced quality of life” for her husband, Jim, a retired banker who has multiple medical problems, and allows the couple to maintain their independence. Chris Brenz, a certified nursing assistant , typically works five mornings a week with Mr. Kallsen, 79, assisting him with showering, swim therapy, exercises and other activities of daily living.

The Census Bureau projects that by 2025, the number of Americans age 65 and older will hit 66 million, up 38% from 2015. Meanwhile, home health-care aides and personal-care aides are among the nation’s fastest-growing occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

For smaller companies, franchising is a way to grow quickly. But turning years of experience into easy-to-replicate guidelines is challenging.